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I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.

running

Jawbone UP - Move

Activity trackers help people come to grips with how much or how little movement and sleep they get in a day. Figuring out your current habits of walking, exercising, and sleeping can be the first step toward making big changes to your health and because it gives you a baseline to beat then that helps you set new goals that are truly within your reach.
Priced at only £40 the Jawbone UP Move is a very good entry-level activity tracker.
The Jawbone UP Move would make a great gift for someone using a fitness tracker for the first time and the price is right but it would likely disappoint a more experienced user looking to upgrade to a product that could provide a richer experience.
The UP app gives you more information about your habits but that might not be enough for serious runners, swimmers, and other athletes who would probably want a device that tracks their specific activity in greater detail, there are certainly other choices for them.
The Jawbone UP Move, however, is best suited to entry level users who do not mind its looks.

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When you buy a Jawbone UP Move, you get a small disc-like tracker, a clip holster, a coin cell battery and a tool to open the tracker. Jawbone claims that the battery will lasts several months. The benefit of the coin cell battery is you never have to remember to recharge it, but if you are the kind of person who is lazy about buying a new battery when it is needed, then you will probably be better off with something you can plug in every few days.
The tracker comes in five colours: slate with yellow accessories, ruby with red accessories, grape with purple, blue with white, and black with black. You can buy additional clips and wristbands of different widths and colours for about £10 each.

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The function of the UP Move is very easy to use and makes for a fun way of tracking health. A simple press the UP Move and the whole thing is a giant button, really, a dial lights, spinning around the perimeter to tell you how close you are to reaching your steps goal for the day. You will see a little orange running man icon light up, too, so you are sure of the data you are seeing. When you put the device into sleep mode by pressing and holding the device, a blue moon lights up. Double-tapping causes the dial to indicate the time by lighting up the hour marker and flashing where the minute hand would be on a traditional clock.
Some might see it as looking like a child like toy with its design and funky fun colours but I like that in a fitness tracker.
When you set up the Jawbone UP Move, you will have to download the app, tell it a few things about yourself, and enable syncing. Once the app and device know your age, weight, sex, and height, it can begin estimating how many calories you burn throughout the day, based on activity and inactivity. Of course, it is little more than informed guesswork. Better calorie burn estimations only happen with more data, so the more you use it the more it works in your favour and the more accurate the tracking can be using its ‘Smart Coach” approach.

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As with any activity tracker, you really need to dive into the companion app or web dashboard to get a good look at all the activity the device is tracking. The Jawbone UP app is easy to use and provides a good overview of your day, showing a graph of different times when you were active, and letting you add notes to activities that you completed. The app also has areas for tracking your weight, mood, and foods you eat. One really fascinating companion app that can sync with Jawbone's fitness tracking app is called ‘UP Coffee’, it lets you track caffeine intake specifically and shows you how it affects your sleep.

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The Jawbone UP Move is a very good activity tracker for entry level users, with helpful indicator lights and an app that is easy to use.
Some might not like it due to its funky design and bright colours so I guess when it comes to choosing a fitness tracker that is right for you, looks really do matter. If you do not like wearing it, you will not and then you cannot quantify your exercise.

The Flash

The wearable has become the new bit of tech that the body conscious or those who are concerned that they be sitting on their arse a bit to much are using at the moment, but that is all set to change in 2015.
The tech on these fitness bands are becoming so advanced that more and more data about yourself can now be monitored, in some of these wearables sleep tracking is also an option.
Several years ago I had a Nike Fuelband and I think because at that time, wearables were in the early stages, it just did not meet the expectations that Nike had made the band out to be and the Fuelband was forever losing data in-between the sync relationship from phone to wearable, not a good start.
However the 2015 horizon is looking good for the best of the best.  Apple have jumped on to the bandwagon of wearables with its iWatch and those wearables that did not seem to come up to the mark now do.  Jawbone also had a misfortune in its early stages but now seem to be heading the way as wearers want more and Jawbone offer all that and more in its latest model the UP3, due to be released any time soon.
My only concern is what do you buy into in the meantime when you know there is going to be update soon for the bit of tech you really want?
I’ve opted for the Misfit Flash, the budget bit of tech that might be cheap but offers more than most for your buck and has released its latest model ‘The Flash’.

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Small and as colourful as you want it to be ‘The Flash’ is packed with preset features and is waterproof, lasts six months on a single battery, comes with a wristband and clip-on accessory, works with iOS and Android, and tracks steps and sleep.
The Flash is not just waterproof for the shower and the bath but to 3ATM, which means it can be worn in water down to 96 feet in depth (Note: water resistant and waterproof tech should never be worn in salt water, though). So you can wear it in the shower or while swimming. In the Misfit app it has a fitness tracking mode that recognizes swim activity.

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You click the Flash's soft-touch top to show daily progress as the LED lights complete a circle (for instance, if 6 of 12 dots are lit, you've completed 50 percent of your daily step goal). Afterward, it even tells the time via flashing dots for hours and minutes. 
Sleep tracking records automatically, just like on the Misfit Shine, and it does a pretty good job of guessing when you actually went to sleep. It records "light" and "deep" sleep plus the hours slept, which is not as rich a sleep-tracking tool as more advanced REM-sensing, heart-rate-enabled ones such as Jawbone and Fitbit's upcoming wearables, but it's fine for the price.  You can also set a smart alarm that wakes you at your lightest sleep pattern closes to your wake up time, a feature I tried out yesterday only to be woken a whole hour before my actual alarm clock, thankfully I did not feel groggy, so even though I was up earlier than I wanted to be I was not in a bad mood about it or wanting to go back to bed, The feature works.

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The Flash works via Bluetooth with the Misfit app, which is available for iOS and Android and soon for Windows Phone. You will need Bluetooth 4.0 to sync with the Flash: iPhone 4s or later, iPod Touch 5th gen, and iPads going back to the 3rd-gen Retina, or Android 4.3 or later phones. It syncs easily, and the Misfit app cleanly lays out daily progress in steps and sleep. It allows you to label activity sessions, and the app integrates with a variety of other ecosystems: My FitnessPal, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Walgreens and many more.

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It comes in seven bright colours. It's cute. Does it reinvent wearable health tech? No. Keep in mind that the Jawbone Move also costs about the same price and does nearly the same thing, but it's not water resistant and for recording sleep you will need the wrist band that is at, yes you guessed it, an optional extra.
I have used Jawbone apps and find that they go that bit deeper for information, but I like wearing my wearables in the shower, too. So until the latest UP3 is available this is the bit of tech for me.
Budget, but beautiful in every way.

Nike Fuel Band

The Nike Fuel band measures your everyday activity and turns in into Nike Fuel. It means that each day counts for something!
There has been a huge rise in fitness tracking applications over the last year, with the technology being implemented in many ways. All of it is aimed at encouraging users to be more active, by making their daily activity a number which can be compared to other numbers!

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Nike's entrant into the market looks fantastic, uses their unique Nike Fuel, builds on their Nike+ community and is also a watch. What is not to love? Lets have a look and see what it is all about.
In the box you get: Nike+ FuelBand, 2 size links, link adjustment tool, USB charging cable, charging stand and the getting started manual.

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Taking the band out of the box, it feels really well made and sturdy. The band weighs in around 35 grams, and its circumference ranges from 147mm to 197mm, depending on the size of the unit you have bought.

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The first thing you will want to do is make sure that the band fits well and the great thing with the FuelBand is that it is ships with two link, 8mm and 16mm. These can be inserted or removed to make sure you have a perfect fit. It is really easy to change the links, so you will be setup in no time

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Once this has been done, it is time to set the device up. To do this, insert the Fuel Band into a spare USB port and after doing so you are the taken to the Nike website where you set up your FuelBand. It will ask you to install the Nike+ Connect software,and there is a mac and windows version of the software available. This is the same software which you may use to connect your Nike+ Sportwatch, or Nike SportBand.
Install the software, and you are taken to the second page, where you custom fit the FuelBand.

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The third step is to set your daily goal. This number can be changed using the Nike+ Connect software later, however, it gives you an idea of what level to set your goal at.

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The third step is to join Nike+ to set up an account. If you are ready a member of Nike+ then simply log in the way you normally do and as you know, you can either log in via Facebook or twitter.

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Setting up an account is very easy and it only requires a minimum amount of information, so do not feel like you are giving to much information, unlike some websites that do this from the get go and it puts a lot of new time fitness users off.

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Once this is done, the band needs to fully charge and you are ready to go earning NikeFuel.

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So What is Nike Fuel? NikeFuel is a new medium Nike created to track your day to day activity. It is a number which is worked out based on the amount of movement you make. NikeFuel is calculated the same for everyone, no matter your age, gender or sport of choice. How does the band work? The Nike+ FuelBand has a built in 3 axes sport tested accelerometer, which measure your motion all day long. It takes these movements and turns them into NikeFuel points. The FuelBand not only earns NikeFuel points, but it can tell you how far you have gone, the amount of steps you have taken and the calories you have burnt and the time, so effectible acting as also a very clever watch.
Taking into account that the FuelBand does not use GPS data it does come across as fairly accurate at tracking the activity you are doing. Once you have put the FuelBand on, as long as it fits well, you will hardly notice that it is there recording your every movement. You will want to make sure the FuelBand is as flush as possible for two reasons, one so that you do not notice it, secondly because the less unintended movement the FuelBand has, the more accurate the recording for your day will be. There is one button on the FuelBand, and pressing it will do two things; firstly, a set of 20 Colour LED’s will light up, depending on how close you are to your Daily Goal. The LEDs range from Red to Green and provide you with an instant update of how you are doing compared to your target. The second thing the button does is enables you to cycle through unto 4 pieces of information, via the 100 white LED lights in the middle of the screen: NikeFuel earned, steps taken, calories burnt and of course the time. It is possible to take steps taken and calories out of the data cycle via the Nike+ Connect software. The FuelBand will adjust its brightness level using an ambient sensor, which means that it is always easy to read the data on the device. One really great feature of the FuelBand is the time function that it has as it can be worn day to day and in my case I even wear it to bed so I can see just how restless I am during my sleep, though saying that it would be great to have the current date feature, I could see that this would just require a firmware update, I assume that it would be feasible for Nike to add in at a future time.
So what is the battery life like? The Nike+ FuelBand has two lithium polymer batteries (this will mean nothing except to the geekiest of battery fans), but in real terms it means the FuelBand should last for four or five days. In my first week of owning my Nike+ FuelBand I would be pressing the fuel button every hour to see how much I had earned and this would obviously drain the battery and only give me about three days of use, so once you are used to how it all works then you will find that this is certainly a charge once a week device. Charging is done via a USB port using your computer or if you have a USB power point you can use this to and it only takes just over an hour to charge from empty. When you connect your FuelBand to your computer you will launch the Nike connect software and from here you will also see the version number and charging status situated on the bottom left of the screen.

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Earlier I spoke of being able to sync your FuelBand via an app. Nike currently only got an iPhone app, however I am sure they are working on apps for other handsets. The app allows you to sync the band and also interact with friends and view your stats in more detail. Syncing is performed via Bluetooth, so this needs to be turned on, on both the iPhone and Nike+ FuelBand, so the first task is to pair the FuelBand and the iPhone, this has to be done in the setting area of the iPhone. The app will provide a walkthrough of this process, and it is very easy to follow to turn Bluetooth on the FuelBand, holding down the button until you see a Bluetooth symbol, it is as easy as that. Once the two devices are paired, you can sync the FuelBand with the iPhone at any time, by holding down the button on the FuelBand until sync is displayed on the FuelBand. Each time you sync the memory will be cleared on the FuelBand. I am not sure how many days it can store, but the FuelBand will give you a warning when you used 80% of the memory.

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Did you think that your performance would go unnoticed, of course not. With Nike, the harder you work the more trophies you will receive but also this means that on your next performance you will need to work that bit harder to get another trophy and as you will find out, they are trophies with a difference.

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You can log into your account online and see your FuelBand activity in more detail. The top bar allows your to navigate between different areas. The number on the left side is your NikeFuel total.

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After syncing you will see a summery since your last visit and be met with a warm welcome.

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Here you can see the amount of active days you have had since your last sync, the amount of Fuel earned and if you have got any new achievements, the number of these will be displayed here.

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Pressing continue brings you to an overview of your current day. As you can see, I have been very inactive today, not earning many NikeFuel points at all. On the right hand side gives you details of the day itself, the amount of calories burnt, distance traveled, steps taken and active time.

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Navigating to a day where I was more active, you can see what it a completed day looks like. It will also show you your spark, this is when you were most active during the day. In addition to seeing your best spark of the day you can also record how well you did, how did you actually feel in your own words and then if you want you can share your performance with either Facebook and or Twitter.

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As your progress in time you will be able to see how you have done, not just in day view but also in either week, month or year view.

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Overall the Nike+ FuelBand is a fun product with a few interesting benefits, the website and iPhone app are both good, the analysis you can get during the course of a day is useful, and it makes competing and challenging friends very simple. The idea behind the FuelBand is to get make people be more active, by providing a number of ways of motivating them. I have certainly found that I have looked at the band during the day, realised that I have not done enough and made an effort to be more active. Obviously the tracking will not be 100% accurate, but because Nike have gone down the route of using NikeFuel, they have created a new median which is based on any movement, and I think that makes it a lot easier to compare scores with other users and get more out of it. It still tracks your steps, calories and distance, but as I have argued, these should be seen as guides and not definitive results from the day.
Overall I really like the Nike+ FuelBand, and certainly think there are benefits over and above just using it as a daily tracker to get you more active. The Nike+ FuelBand is not cheap, it will cost £129. However, the product looks good and does have a lot of uses, it is just a lot of money and this will probably put a lot of people off. It is currently only available to buy from NikeTown, NikeFuel Online and Apple stores.